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Posts tagged ‘HP’

26
Aug

The bottom line: Our quick verdict on the HP Chromebook 13


Until recently, if you wanted a Chromebook, you had two distinct choices: splurge on a Pixel, or settle for something cheap and pokey. Lately, though, we’ve seen a few entries that aim to do something different: offer better design and performance for just a modest premium. The latest is the HP Chromebook 13 ($499 and up), which brings a high-res 3,200 x 1,800 screen, comfortable keyboard and trackpad, up to a Core m7 processor and as much as 16GB of memory.

Obviously, though, the tricked-out version will cost you a little more than $499 ($1,029, to be precise). Indeed, we don’t recommend most people spend that much on a machine running Chrome OS. For most people, the base level model, which has a Pentium chip, will be enough. Even then, you can expect decent speeds for everyday use, along with the same sharp screen and comfy typing experience you’d get otherwise. That caveat aside, we’d also warn you about the battery life: It’s not as long as on competing Chromebooks, precisely because of that pixel-dense screen. That doesn’t mean we don’t recommend it — just that it’s not the all-around winner it appears to be on paper.

25
Aug

HP built a privacy screen into its EliteBook laptops


Now you can watch all the adult content you want on the go. HP has designed a new integrated privacy screen in partnership with 3M to combat what the company calls “visual hacking.” In other words: creepers looking over your shoulder. The Sure View screen will be available on touchscreen versions of the company’s Elitebook 840 and 1040 laptops in September, and on nontouch ones in October. I got an early look at the new panels, which were mostly useful and effective.

Sure View eliminates the need to stick an additional privacy filter onto your screen, which can be cumbersome and annoying. Plus, privacy filters cost between $30 and $80 a pop, and if you damage or lose one, that can be a pricey replacement. So it’s easy to see why this implementation is a benefit.

HP also made it pretty easy to activate the privacy mode. You’ll just have to hit Fn + F2 to switch it on and off. This worked quickly and seamlessly when I saw it at an HP demo, and as I moved from side to side, the contents on the screen did get blacked out once I was at more than 10 degrees away.

While it’s easy to imagine this feature being used for sketchy media consumption in public places, Sure View actually has a lot of practical uses. It would probably be most helpful to business people dealing with sensitive financial information or updating classified presentations on the go.

Pricing is still being determined. On some higher-end configurations of the 840 and 1040 notebooks, which start at $1,249 and $1,449 respectively, the Sure View fee could be absorbed. The screen add-on could cost up to $75 in other setups. If you frequently deal with sensitive data in public, you might want to check out the new notebooks come September. In the meantime, you should really check out the pictures in the gallery of random people creeping on HP laptop users to know what you’re dealing with.

17
Aug

HP’s new Omen gaming PCs include a cube-shaped desktop


Gamers have many reasons why they steer clear of desktops from big-name brands, but one of the biggest is the poor expansion. You may have fewer upgrade slots (if any) versus a white label or home-built rig, and you’ll frequently have to contend with non-standard parts. HP thinks it can make you reconsider, however. It’s refreshing its Omen gaming PCs once again, and the highlight is a completely new Omen X Desktop that promises both the perks of a major company’s industrial design with the expansion that you crave. That cube-on-its-side look is not only relatively unique in a sea of generic towers, but genuinely functional. Its three-chamber structure separates hot components while giving you room for expansion that includes dual graphics cards, four tool-free hard drive bays and an M.2 SSD. Also, this is an industry-standard chassis — HP will sell you the barebones case if you prefer to supply your own internals, and Maingear will even build its own beastly gaming PC around the box in early 2017.

There’s one thing you won’t escape from major brand gaming PCs, though: the price. The Omen X Desktop will be available at HP’s website on August 17th for a starting price of $1,799, and that will get you an overclockable 4GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM, Radeon RX 480 graphics, a 256GB SSD, a 2TB hard drive and a monstrous 1,300W power supply. That’s definitely not the most powerful system you could get for the money, and it’s going to get pricier if you want perks like a GeForce GTX 1080 or 16GB of RAM (the retail config due October 16th starts at $2,100). What you’re really paying for is that exotic shell. By itself, the case costs $600 — potentially worth it if you want the easy-access drives or a conversation piece, but overkill for most anyone else.

HP Omen 17 laptop

And don’t worry if you weren’t in the market for an over-the-top desk machine, as there’s more Omen hardware in the pipeline. An updated Omen 17 laptop now packs NVIDIA’s portable version of the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 as well as a mini DisplayPort jack, making it friendly to both VR and dual external screens. It starts at $1,600. There’s also an Omen X Curved Display with support for NVIDIA’s extra-smooth G-Sync tech (due in early 2017 for an unknown price) and a range of SteelSeries accessories that include a customizable mouse ($60), a light-up keyboard ($100) and a headset ($80). All of the SteelSeries extras should arrive in mid-September.

Cherlynn Low contributed to this report.

Source: HP

16
Aug

NVIDIA brings desktop-class graphics to laptops


With the GeForce GTX 1080, NVIDIA pushed the boundaries of what a $600 graphics card can do. That flagship card was joined by the GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, two lower-power cards based on the same 16nm Pascal architecture at a much more affordable price. Now, it’s bringing mobile versions of those cards that match their desktop counterparts in almost every area — including being VR ready.

That’s not hyperbole. The top-of-the-line 1080M has 2,560 CUDA cores and 8GB of 10Gbps GDDR5x memory. The desktop chip has the same. The only difference is clock speed: it’s set at 1,556MHz, while the desktop version is 1,607MHz. The two do share the same boost clock (1,733MHz) though, and both have access to all the new technology introduced for the Pascal architecture. That means simultaneous multi-projection, VRWorks, Ansel and the rest.

If you want an idea what those specs translate to in real-world performance, how’s this: when paired with an i7-6700HQ (a quad-core 2.6GHz chip with 3.5GHz turbo), Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, 126; Overwatch, 147; Doom, 145; Metro Last Light, 130; Rise of the Tomb Raider, 125. Those are the 1080M’s FPS figures when playing at 1080p with “ultra” settings at 120Hz. NVIDIA is really pushing 120Hz gaming, and many of the first crop of Pascal laptops will have 120Hz G-Sync displays.

4K gaming, too, is more than possible. At 4K with “high” settings the same setup can push 89FPS on Overwatch, 70FPS with Doom, and 62FPS with Metro Last Light (according to NVIDIA). Only Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Rise of the Tomb Raider fall short of 60FPS, both clocking in at a very playable 52FPS. At the chip’s UK unveil, NVIDIA showed the new Gears of War playing in 4K in real-time, and there were absolutely no visible frame drops. With figures like that, it goes without saying that VR will be no problem for the 1080M. The desktop GTX 980 is the benchmark for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and the 1080M blows it away. If you’re looking for more performance, the 1080M supports overclocking of course — NVIDIA suggests as high as 300MHz — and you can expect laptops sporting two in an SLI configuration soon.

The major drawback for the 1080M is power. We don’t know its exact TDP yet, but given the near-identical desktop version runs at 180W, you’d imagine it’s got to be at least 150W. NVIDIA has tech that counters that heavy power load when you’re not plugged in, of course. Chief among these is BatteryBoost, which allows you to set a framerate (i.e. 30FPS), and downclocks the GPU appropriately to save power — if your card is capable of pushing 147FPS plugged in, that’s going to be a fair amount of power saved. Whatever the battery savings possible, though, it won’t change the fact that the 1080M is only going to slide into big laptops.

That’s fine for those already used to carrying around behemoths on the go, but plenty of gamers prefer something more portable. Enter the 1070M. NVIDIA says this chip will fit into any chassis that currently handles the 980M, which covers a lot of laptops.

Just like the 1080M, the 1070M matches its desktop sibling in many ways. You’ve actually got slightly more in the way of CUDA cores — 2,048 vs. the desktop’s 1,920, but again they’re clocked slower (1,442MHz vs. 1,506MHz). Memory is the same — 8GB 8Gbps GDDR5 — and it too benefits from both the Pascal architecture itself and the new software features that come with it.

CUDA cores 2,560 2,560 1,920 2,048
Base clock 1,607MHz 1,556MHz 1,506MHz 1,442MHz
Boost clock 1,733MHz 1,733MHz 1,683MHz 1,645MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5
Memory speed 10Gbps 10Gbps 8Gbps 8Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 320GB/sec 320GB/sec 256GB/sec 256GB/sec

When faced off against the desktop 1070, the 1070M holds its own. In nearly every test we saw, it got within a couple of percentiles of the desktop card. We’re talking 77FPS in The Witcher 3 (1080p maxed settings, no HairWorks) vs. 79.7FPS on the 1070; 76.2FPS in The Division (1080p ultra) vs. 76.6FPS; and 64.4FPS in Crysis 3 (1080p very high) vs. 66.4FPS. The one outlier was Grand Theft Auto V, which dropped down to 65.3FPS vs. 73.7FPS on the desktop 1070. 4K gaming is a stretch on the desktop 1070, and that carries over here, but this card is more-than VR ready. NVIDIA says that it’ll support factory overclocking on the 1070M soon, so you may see laptops offering a little more grunt “in a couple of months.”

Rounding off the lineup is the 1060M, the mobile version of NVIDIA’s $249 “budget” VR-ready card. It’s something of the exception to the rule here. Yes, it offers 1,280 CUDA cores and 6GB 8Gbps GDDR5 memory, which is equal to the desktop 1060. But at the lower end of the range the fact that they’re clocked lower (1,404MHz vs. 1,506MHz) hurts performance quite a bit more. In side-by-side comparisons, NVIDIA’s benchmarks suggest you’ll get within ten percent or so of the desktop card. That’s not to say that the 1060M is a slouch. For traditional gaming, you’re not going to hit 60FPS at 1080P in every game without thinking about settings, but if you can play it on a desktop GTX 980, it’s probably a safe bet that the 1060M can handle it. That’s insanely impressive when you consider that the 1060M will fit into the same chassis as the 970M — think “ultra portable” gaming laptops.

CUDA cores 1,280 1,280 2,048
Base clock 1,404MHz 1,506MHz 1,126MHz
Boost clock 1,670MHz 1,708MHz 1,216MHz
Memory 6GB GDDR5* 6GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
Memory speed 8Gbps 8Gbps 7Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 192GB/sec 192GB/sec 224GB/sec

*Up to

In reality, the 10-percent gap between the 1060 and the 1060M probably makes it slightly slower than the GTX 980, but the difference is almost negligible. I wasn’t able to push the 1060M too hard on the “VR ready” promise — you can read about the demo and why the 1060M matters in a separate article — but the demo I had was solid. And really, being able to plug an Oculus into something as slim as a Razer Blade was unthinkable a few months ago, so it’s probably best not to complain.

Acer, Alienware, Asus, Clevo, EVGA, HP, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI, Origin, Razer, Sager and XMG are just some of the OEMs signed up to make laptops with the new Pascal chips. Many will announce updated and all-new models today, while some might hold off a while. But expect lots of super-powerful, VR-ready gaming laptops very soon.

12
Aug

The Engadget Podcast returns!


In 2014 we said the Engadget Podcast was going on hiatus to “retool.” Well, we haven’t been sitting on our laurels. Over the last two years we’ve rethought our editorial mission, completely redesigned the website and, now, we’re launching a new and improved podcast.

If you’re looking for the Engadget podcast – we’re currently taking a break to re-tool it and make it more awesome for you. Stay tuned!

— Engadget (@engadget) June 27, 2014

This isn’t simply the old Engadget Podcast with a shiny new logo, no. We’re approaching it in a whole new way, and it will continue to evolve as we hear from you, our loyal listeners, readers and viewers. At its heart this is still a show about tech news, but one that is fast paced, informative and, most importantly, fun. You’ll hear editors debate the news of the week, get a peek inside the machine that is Engadget and enjoy deep dives on the stories that have changed our world (for better or worse).

We’re also making sure that you can enjoy the show in as many ways as possible. We’ve got a beautiful landing page where you’ll find every episode in audio or video format, plus a text transcription for the hearing impaired. You can watch us on YouTube, Facebook Live, listen on SoundCloud or subscribe through your podcast service of choice. You’ll currently find the show on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and Pocket Casts.

In Episode One: Your Racist Friend, editors Cherlynn Low, Devindra Hardawar and Nathan Ingraham join host Terrence O’Brien to debate iPhone rumors, explore the perks of renting gadgets, and express their utter exasperation at Snapchat’s racist filters.

Relevant links:

  • Bloomberg: iPhone 7 gets new home button, drops headphone port
  • HP Chromebook 13 review: a great laptop that doesn’t come cheap
  • Why the Olympics need GIFs
  • Yes, ‘No Man’s Sky’ has a few issues
  • Snapchat’s racist yellowface filter lands it in hot water
  • Snapchat’s 420 Bob Marley filter is just digital blackface

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

11
Aug

HP’s low-cost Stream laptops now include a 14-inch model


HP is clearly having some success with its cheap-and-cheerful Stream laptops, as it’s expanding them in a big, big way. It’s refreshing the range with not only some under-the-hood upgrades, but a new model. The Stream 14 (above) effectively replaces the 13-inch version, delivering better performance and a more portable design despite the larger screen. It has faster 2×2 802.11ac WiFi, a 2016-era Celeron processor and a longer 10 hours, 45 minutes of battery life, but weighs less than the old Stream 13 at 3.17 pounds. You won’t be blown away by its 4GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage or 1,366 x 768 resolution, but the Stream 14 will also start at $219 when it arrives on September 7th. Not bad for a mid-size Windows 10 portable, we’d say.

Other machines are getting a tune-up as well, as you’d expect. The $199 Stream 11 update coming on August 24th will pack the faster WiFi, upgraded processor and slimmer design of its bigger sibling. Meanwhile, the 11-inch Stream x360 (aka HP x360) laptop/tablet hybrid gets similar guts while starting at $249, or $50 less than its ancestor. It arrives in “select regions” sometime in September. And if you’re running a school rather than attending it, there’s a more secure Stream 11 Pro coming in late September with an optional 64GB of storage.

Source: HP

5
Aug

HP Chromebook 13 review: a great laptop that doesn’t come cheap


Just over a year ago, you basically had two options for buying a Chromebook: Spend $999 on Google’s excellent but overpriced Pixel or buy an inexpensive laptop that was inevitably compromised in one way or another. That’s starting to change, however. Dell’s Chromebook 13, which launched last fall, proved you could pack a sharp screen and keyboard into a device with strong performance and battery life. It was a bit pricier than the competition, but a little extra cash was well worth the upgrades.

Now HP is taking the idea of a “premium” Chromebook to the next level with the new Chromebook 13. It starts at $499 and can be configured up to a whopping $1,029. That cash gets you a much thinner and lighter design than Dell’s Chromebook, along with one of the best screens on the market. After spending some time with HP’s latest Chromebook, there’s no doubt it’s an excellent machine. The question is whether it (or any Chromebook, for that matter) is worth HP’s asking price.

Hardware

HP Chromebook 13: Review

There’s no question in my mind that HP hit it out of the park with the Chromebook 13’s design. It’s the nicest Chromebook I’ve used outside the Pixel, which still costs significantly more than HP’s offering. Visually, the Chromebook 13 sticks pretty close to the MacBook Air stylings that continue to dominate the industry. However, a few design notes, including its brushed-metal texture, black screen border and shiny chrome accents (including an overly large HP logo on the cover), lend it some unique visual flair. It’s a nice-looking laptop, if a bit plain and derivative — something that’ll probably help it as a machine targeted at business customers. It’s no Spectre 13.3, though.

At 2.85 pounds and half an inch thick, it certainly has a lot in common with the many popular thin-and-light laptops available, and that’s a place where it diverts from the similarly business-targeted Dell Chromebook 13. That computer is as solid as a rock, but it’s a lot thicker and heavier than many other 13-inch laptops. The HP feels much more portable — but it’s not nearly as solid as the Dell. It’s easy to flex the screen and chassis if you’re so inclined. The screen flexing is particularly noticeable; my co-workers were pretty stunned at how easily I was able to bend the display. Obviously, this isn’t normal behavior, but it does make me concerned about the laptop’s long-term durability. Fortunately, the HP Chromebook 13 felt solid and comfortable in normal use. It’s just not the tank that Dell’s Chromebook is.

Indeed, for real-world use, the HP feels great from the moment you open it up. You can easily lift the screen open with one hand; the body of the computer stays put and doesn’t wobble on your lap or desk when you’re adjusting the display. And what a display it is: The 13.3-inch screen has a best-in-class 3,200 x 1,800 resolution. (You can also save some cash by stepping down to a 1080p panel.) By default, it’s scaled to an effective 1,600 x 900 resolution, but thanks to the pixel density, you get super crisp, readable text and wonderfully detailed images. And for me, 1,600 x 900 is a sweet spot in terms of having a large workspace and text that isn’t too tiny. 1080p feels a bit small to me on a display like this, but if you want more space, there are plenty of scaling options in the Chromebook’s display settings.

I have a couple big complaints about the display, though. After using the Pixel, I’ve grown to love having more vertical real estate; HP’s Chromebook 13 feels a little cramped in this regard. It doesn’t help that the bezel at the bottom of the display is particularly thick: It feels like a 16:10 panel could have fit here without an issue. Of course, basically every computer out there has a 16:9 display aspect ratio, so this is hardly HP’s fault.

More damning is the lack of a touchscreen. With Android apps coming to Chromebooks soon, there’s finally a good reason to have a touch panel, and it should be a default feature on an $819 computer. I could understand it being left off cheaper models in the lineup, but it should at least be offered as an optional upgrade. And while the viewing angles on this screen aren’t bad, it’s not an IPS display, so you won’t get the wide field of view that some other notebooks offer. Despite these few complaints, the screen is a high point. It’s about the best I’ve seen on a Chromebook. That should be the case for an $820 machine, but the fact that you can get the same display on a $500 version of this laptop is a big win.

Beyond the screen, the keyboard and trackpad are of utmost importance, and fortunately HP got both of these things right. I’ve been happily typing away on this computer for over a week, and it feels nearly as good as the Chromebook Pixel and equally as comfortable as the Dell Chromebook 13. There’s an adjustable backlight here, which feels appropriate for a computer in this price range, and the keycaps offer decent travel for a computer this thin. As for the trackpad, the only complaint I have is that, similar to the screen, I wish it were a bit taller. Other than that, it works fine. I’m glad to see laptop manufacturers starting to get touchpads consistently right.

HP touts stereo speakers from Bang & Olufsen, and while there’s only so much you can do with speakers in a smallish laptop, these sound pretty good to me. They’re not any louder than your average notebook audio setup, but they’re definitely crisper and less muddy than on most other computers. You’re still probably better off listening with headphones, but in a pinch these will do — just don’t expect any physics-defying sound here.

As for ports, the HP Chromebook 13 keeps things pretty minimal: There’s one USB 3.0 connection, a headphone jack, two USB Type-C sockets (either of which can be used for charging) and a microSD slot. I’m confounded by laptop makers that insist on microSD; a full-sized SD reader would be far more useful for most people. Having two USB Type-C ports is smart, though: You can dedicate one to power if need be and still have options for plugging in more devices, including the HP docking station designed specifically for this laptop.

Performance and battery life

HP’s Chromebook 13 is the first Chromebook I’ve tried that uses Intel’s newest generation of Core M processors. The $819 model I tested has a 1.1GHz Core m5 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space. We’ll talk more about whether this computer is worth that kind of cash, but for now, the most important thing to know is that HP is offering this computer in a variety of configurations.

The base $499 model pairs a Pentium 4405Y processor with 4GB of RAM; $599 steps that up to the Core m3-6Y30 processor with the same RAM allotment. If you’re feeling particularly crazy, you can upgrade to a Core m7-6Y75 processor with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. HP says you can get that top-of-the-line model from “select retailers” for $1,029.

However, I only had the $819 model to test. At that price (more than nearly any other Chromebook on the market), I was expecting a great experience, and fortunately I was not disappointed. Anecdotally, I was able to run all of my usual apps (Inbox, Chrome, Google Play Music, TweetDeck, Slack, Keep, Docs, Wunderlist, Hangouts) plus more than a dozen tabs with few hiccups. Music would occasionally cut out slightly, and typing text in Keep felt a bit laggy while I was simultaneously doing a video call, but by and large I have no complaints about the performance. And from a benchmark perspective, the Chromebook 13 kept pace with the best you can get when running Chrome OS, including the Pixel.

HP Chromebook 13 (Core-m5 6Y57, 8GB RAM) 230ms

27,908

1,053ms

Dell Chromebook 13 (Celeron 3205U, 4GB RAM) 371ms

14,430

2,242ms

ASUS Chromebook Flip (Rockchip RK3288C, 4GB RAM) 700ms

6,748

5,527ms

Chromebook Pixel (2015, Core i5, 8GB RAM) 298ms

23,907

1,428ms

Toshiba Chromebook 2 (Celeron N2840, 4GB RAM) 967ms

7,714

4,284ms

Samsung Chromebook 2 (11-inch, Celeron N2840, 2GB RAM) 525ms

7,223

3,936ms

Acer Chromebook 13 (NVIDIA Tegra K1, 2GB RAM) 609ms

7,051

4,816ms

Lenovo N20p (Celeron N2830, 2GB RAM) 567ms

7,288

4,287ms

ASUS C200 Chromebook (Celeron N2830, 2GB RAM) 483ms

7,198

4,291ms

Acer C720 Chromebook (Celeron 2955U, 2GB RAM) 342ms

11,502

2,614ms

Dell Chromebook 11 (Celeron 2955U, 4GB RAM) 340ms

11,533

2,622ms

*SunSpider and Kraken: Lower scores are better.

I will say that I’ve had one big issue that I can’t overlook, and that’s the battery life. HP claims that the Chromebook 13 gets 11.5 hours of runtime, with a big caveat: You need the model with the 1080p screen to achieve that result. HP doesn’t offer any estimates for the 3,200 x 1,800 screen I’ve been using, but I only got about 6 hours of battery life doing my normal work routine. This is a major disappointment, especially after enjoying incredibly long battery life on Dell’s Chromebook 13. HP’s machine is smaller and has a sharper, more power-hungry screen — but getting significantly less than eight hours of battery life is a serious bummer.

Our battery test (which involves looping an HD video with screen brightness fixed at 65 percent) bore similar results: The HP Chromebook 13 lasted for 6 hours and 33 minutes. And unfortunately, the computer didn’t charge as quickly as I’d hoped, despite HP touting USB Type-C’s quick-charging features. It took about two and a half hours while in use to go from nearly dead to 100 percent and a good 90 minutes to get to 50 percent.

Battery life

HP Chromebook 13
6:33
Surface Book (Core i5, integrated graphics)
13:54 (3:20 tablet only)
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2013)
12:51
HP Spectre x360
11:34
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display (13-inch, 2015)
11:23
ASUS C200 Chromebook
11:19
ASUS Chromebook Flip
10:49
Dell Chromebook 13
10:25
Acer Chromebook 13
10:07
Chromebook Pixel (2015)
10:01
Microsoft Surface 3
9:11
Apple MacBook (2016)
8:45
Samsung Chromebook 2 (13-inch)
8:22
HP Stream 11
8:17
Dell XPS 13 (2015)
7:36
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
7:36
Lenovo LaVie Z
7:32
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
7:15
HP Spectre 13
7:07
Lenovo LaVie Z 360
6:54
Toshiba Chromebook 2
6:34
Acer C720 Chromebook
6:27 (Core i3) / 5:57 (Celeron)

None of this matters if Chrome OS doesn’t have the apps and services you need to get things done. Fortunately, as I wrote last fall, Chrome OS is pretty capable right now. There are tasks like photo and video editing that the platform is still not suited for, but for the majority of consumers, using a Chromebook might increasingly make sense. I rarely felt like I was hamstrung when using HP’s Chromebook 13, and the Android apps coming this fall will make the platform even more capable. It’s still worth making sure what you typically do on a laptop is feasible with a Chromebook, but Google has closed the feature gap in the past few years.

The competition

As I’ve mentioned multiple times by now, Dell’s Chromebook 13 is the computer most worth comparing to the HP Chromebook 13. HP’s model is the clear winner in terms of design and display, but the Dell counters with a much lower price and far better battery life. Dell also has a variety of configurations: You can step up to a full Core i3 processor, increase the RAM to 8GB and add a touchscreen. If you’re interested in HP’s Chromebook 13, I’d encourage you to also check out the Dell before making a final decision. Unless you really love the HP’s more compact design or its super sharp screen, the Dell wins on bang for your buck.

There aren’t a lot of other Chromebooks that have excellent screens, keyboards, performance and design. The Chromebook Pixel is one, of course — but at $1,299, there’s no way we can recommend that computer to most normal humans. Toshiba’s 13-inch Chromebook 2, released in 2015, is still a strong choice. About $340 gets you a 1080p display, decent construction and an Intel Core i3 processor. The battery life on that laptop isn’t outstanding, but performance will not be a problem. Most other Chromebooks beyond these are compromised in one way or another: cheap construction, small or low-resolution screens, or — worst of all — bad processors leading to poor performance.

Wrap-up

Similar to the Chromebook Pixel that appears to have inspired it, HP’s Chromebook 13 occupies an odd spot in the market. As tested, it’s hard to recommend anyone spend $819 on this laptop. It packs a wonderful screen and keyboard into a thin and light package, and it combines that with solid performance. But the battery life isn’t great, and $819 is still too much to spend on a Chromebook. Yes, they’re better than they ever have been, and they’re going to get a lot more useful this fall when they start supporting Android apps. But even as someone who has wanted a “premium” Chromebook option beyond the Pixel for a long time, I can’t justify the cost of this computer.

Fortunately, HP is making two models that are cheaper than this one. You can still get the same great package, just with less RAM and a slower processor, for the much more reasonable price of $499. I haven’t tested that machine yet, so I can’t give it a full-throated recommendation yet. But if you’ve been searching for a Chromebook with premium build quality like I have, it might be worth seeing if the cheaper versions of HP’s Chromebook 13 can meet your needs.

Photos by Edgar Alvarez.

3
Aug

The best tech for students studying abroad


There’s nothing quite as exciting or daunting as packing up your stuff and heading overseas for a semester. You’ll have an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, a foreign language and a whole ocean of unique tech challenges. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate those obstacles.

In our guide you’ll find top notch cameras to capture all those transformational memories, luggage that is basically impossible to lose, a backpack that hides a spare battery for charging your phone and, of course, some noise-cancelling headphones for those long flights filled with screaming children. But you’ll also need a lightweight laptop with solid battery life (like the HP Spectre 13.3) and a phone with a couple of SIM slots for doing a little border hopping. Check out the gallery below for all our recommendations for students studying abroad. And make sure to check out our full Back-to-School Guide right here.

Source: Engadget’s Back-to-School Guide

1
Aug

Introducing Engadget’s 2016 back-to-school guide!


Oh yes, it’s already that time of year. Temperature are still sitting in the triple digits in some places, but many of you are just four weeks away from a new school year, heralding the end of summer. Once again, Engadget has put together a back-to-school gear guide, but this time, we did something a little different.

This year’s guide was curated with college students in mind (sorry, high schoolers), with sections for five broad archetypes: party kids, academics, jocks, freshmen and study abroad students. (What’s that you say? You’re a scholar-athlete and you’re spending the semester in Madrid? Have we got picks for you!) As always too, we endeavored to recommend things across different price points, with a few free options, some more aspirational objects and lots of stuff in between. Check out the whole guide here, and stay tuned throughout the month as we spotlight different picks for different students.

Source: Engadget’s 2016 Back-to-School Guide

20
Jul

Which printers are worth buying?


You probably don’t print as much as you used to, if at all. However, on the rare occasion that you need a crisp copy of your resume to bring to an interview or want some framed photos of the kids for your office, a printer can be pretty handy. But not every printer works for every job, so we’ve scoured critics’ reviews across the web and assembled a list of some of the best devices currently out there. Whether you’re looking to send out photo cards for the holidays or just need an everyday workhorse of a machine, check out the gallery below to see which printer might be up to the task.

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